“From the roots of his hair to the bottom of his chin is a tenth of a man’s height; from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head is one eighth of his height; from the top of the breast to the roots of the hair will be the seventh part of the whole man. ”
~ Notebooks of Leonardo
Although made famous Renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci, the figure known as the Vitruvian Man is actually named for the man who created him, the Roman architect Vitruvius. Vitruvius, a proponent of the Sacred Geometry of Pythagoras, designed temples based on the proportions of the human body, believing them to be perfect. This perfection, wrote Vitruvius, was evidenced by the fact that the extended limbs of a perfectly proportioned human fit into both the circle and the square.
According to Pythagorian tradition, the circle represents the spiritual realm; the square, material existence, so the human body represented the perfect marriage of matter and spirit, which was is reflected in its proportions.
Leonardo was one of many artists who attempted to depict Vitruvius’ perfect man, and the only one who succeeded; his version is considered the most accurate depictions of the human body.
- Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Ratio
- Vitruvian Man and the planning of temples (Offsite)
- Da Vinci Code Research Guide
- Vitruvian Man View more artist’s renderings of the Vitruvian Man.